Dears, I want to share a personal story with you. This is a reminder that we can do more than we think we can when we follow our curiosity. This is a reminder that magic happens when we don’t give up.
I received an email a few days ago informing me that I passed my bachelor thesis with an 8 out of 10. That was the last thing I needed to graduate – so, basically, I have my bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media (yeayy!!🥳). A friend told me that he remembered me telling him how I got into the university program in the first place. That inspired me to write about my academic process and how I got to where I am today… it’s quite a story. And I want to share this story with you for two reasons. Those are noted at the end of this entry. Okay, ready? Let’s dig in!
Spiritual Awakening Catalyst
It all started in October 2015, around the time that I started with this blog. I was studying International Business for two years back then. After the summer 2015 I initiated what I call my “Spiritual Awakening”, and from that moment, everything changed. Internally and externally. I didn’t want to study the same thing anymore. I didn’t feel it. I couldn’t resonate with my studies anymore. Believe it or not, all I wanted to do was help humanity and pursue desires out of a heart place, whatever that meant. It was a feeling. I knew that my studies weren’t desires out of a heart place (I wanted to study business to be financially solid and eventually become a millionaire by the time I’m thirty). These sentiments led me to quit my studies in International Business and take some time off to get to know myself and my spiritual nature better, and align my studies with my heart desires. I told myself I wanted 6 months off. But 3 months into my break, and I was already panicking and started looking for a suiting study.
I applied to study International Psychology at a research university but wasn’t admitted into the program. I’m glad I wasn’t because my reason to study psychology was fucked up. Disguised under wanting to understand human behavior to help people better, I actually wanted a degree to validate what I had to say, as I had just started writing about subjects that I felt I had little “authority” over.
After that rejection, I found an interesting study choice: International Communication Management. This was at the same institution I was studying International Business. Somehow I wasn’t eligible for that program either, and I ended up studying Communicatie (Communication in Dutch) at that college. My heart was never in it – I never wanted to pursue my higher education in Dutch in the first place. There was always an inner desire to study in English, as it’s much more internationally oriented and felt less limiting and inhibiting in terms of where I could work or what I could do once I finished. Studying Communicatie was a pain to my soul. I tried, I swear I tried, but everything inside of me was resisting. I kept wondering over and over and asking too, since day one, why I wasn’t allowed to study in English.
Long story short, when I found out that it was some bureaucratic bs with the admission criteria, I quit in January 2017. I decided at that moment that I will go somewhere where I would feel at home. Where things would feel more natural. Where I wouldn’t have to fight to be seen. Where I would feel valued. Where I’m not swimming against the current, but rather, flowing like a river. It was terrifying, because, there I was, having to start all over again, after almost 4 years living in a new country where I moved to study and get a degree with no degree in the time frame that I “should’ve” already have gotten a degree. There I was, confused with nowhere to grab, but I knew my worth and what I desired. At least I had myself, I thought. With almost 4 years of college debt, but at least more of a solid foundation to proceed.
When it all clicked
In March 2017 I found a program that resonated with everything I wanted: International Communication and Media at the same university that rejected me for Psychology in the first place. I was excited and afraid. I held my heart as I was going through the application process, because, well, I already received a “no” the year before. But it was everything I wanted at that moment, and I had a conviction in my abilities to get in there. I crafted everything carefully. I used the power of visualization and what I knew of the law of attraction. I did everything that I was supposed to do. And they still rejected me. Read it for yourself:
You see that last sentence? All the way down? That was all I needed. “An appeal can be lodged with the Examinations Appeals Board … if you feel your interests have been compromised by this decision and/or this order.” That was my hope. The success of this story sits in that sentence. You’re damn right my interests were compromised.
I wrote a 3-pages appeal letter telling the Examination Board about my journey and my Spiritual Awakening and how everything changed from that moment. I told them why I wanted to study and why I’m worth getting into the program. It was like a love letter. One of those strong, passionate, telling-it-like-it-is type of love letters. A statement. One of those strong and powerful I-am-worthy-and-you-better-see-me statements. I even attached a recommendation letter from one of my old lecturers – a letter that was meant for the Psychology department of that institution, written one year before (I’m really grateful for that recommendation letter, by the way). I did my part and I let God do the rest. And God sure did. The Examination Board read it and reconsidered their decision. The university saw me and bet on me, but it wasn’t until after I first saw myself and bet on myself. And here we are 3 years later. It’s done. Well done.
Studying International Communication and Media was a dream come true. A dream I didn’t even know I had until I took the time to get to know myself better and followed my desires and curiosity. I learned so much – not even to get a job, but just for the sake of the knowledge. I am much more knowledgeable now about human communication, parental mediation in the contemporary media scape, media campaigns, persuasion, organizational communication, new media technologies, media theories, international relations, global communication, philosophy and ethics, media systems and effects… Yo, it was awesome!
I was active, alive, happy, and grateful during my bachelor years. I felt aligned and in the right place. I met some AMAZING people too. Some professors and lecturers inspired me to be a lecturer myself. I made new friends and even traveled with one of these friends. This time around 2 years ago, I was in Serbia with my friend Kristina, whom I met in this study program. I was a mentor for first-year students when I was in my second year. I was nominated and people voted for me to be Mr. Sunshine 2018. According to the program’s online magazine, the person who wins this award is “That one person that always has a smile on their face, no matter where you run into them.” My soul was happy, that’s why I was like a sunshine all around. I was seen without trying to be seen. I was at home. Things were natural. I felt like a fucking river!
There were moments of disappointments and disillusion, too, like that one time I got a zero out of ten because I accidentally uploaded the wrong document for an assignment. Or frustrations such as statistics, which, for many social science students can be a pain in the ass. I’ve also learned that I’m not made for full-time office life during my internship. Surviving my internship was the hardest and most challenging part of my studies. I cannot sit behind a desk the whole day for 8 hours, 5 days per week. Experiencing that for a few months was suffering – really intense for me (by the way I wrote a bit about that experience in Thrive in Systems). But all on all, I was exactly where I wanted to be, having exactly the experiences I desired.
The story continues – just in a different way. Starting September I’m continuing with a Master’s in Media Studies at the same university. A dream I didn’t know I had until I took the time to follow my curiosity and let my curiosity lead me to where I am in the first place. And now further.
Follow your curiosity and let it lead you to your innermost desires
The reasons why
I decided to share this story for two reasons:
1: I need it so I can look back to this experience in times that I feel lost, unable, confused, afraid. This experience will serve as a reminder of the light I carry and the things I was capable of doing and achieving. We all need a reminder of our awesomeness and God’s work every now and then.
2: It is my hope that this story can make you think, ponder and reflect on a few things:
- I hope that you realize that you have a potential that you might not even be aware of yet
- I hope that you follow your heart – wherever it may lead you
- I hope that you learn to trust more in yourself and what you bring to the table
- I hope that you can recognize when it’s time to give up and when it’s time to gas the fuck up
- I hope that you see that there is always light at the end of the tunnel
- I hope that you notice that, in the right place, you will blossom
- I hope that you never ever settle for anything less than what you know you’re deserving of
Bet on yourself. Believe in yourself. You have everything you need to succeed in accomplishing and manifesting your heart’s desires. Follow your curiosity and let it lead you to your innermost desires. Trust your curiosity, for it will lead you to your highest destiny. Oftentimes, the path isn’t clear. Let your curiosity bring you clarity.
Thank you so much for your time, dears. Much love to you all.
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